Cancer Answer: Meet A Man Who’s Winning His Battle With Melanoma

Cancer Answer: Meet A Man Who's Winning His Battle With Melanoma (Image 1)

As the temperatures go up, the risk of developing skin cancer is also on the rise.

Now, we meet a man who faced melanoma 3 times and is winning his battle.

After nearly 20 years of marriage Robert and Terrye Hatch know that it takes teamwork to make a marriage work.

They also know what it takes to fight skin cancer.

Robert, “I had a mole on my back, it was actually my wife Terrye who discovered it.”

Terrye, “we would go out and swim and I saw it. Some time went by I guess maybe weeks. All of a sudden my brain said wait a minute. It doesn't look the way it did the last time I saw it , I'm sure of that.”

It was the right move. Robert was diagnosed with melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer that affect hundreds of Americans each year.

Dr. Avis Yount, with Augusta Dermatology Associates, “the incidents are getting closer to about 1 and 35 will develop melanoma in a lifetime.”

For Robert melanoma developed 3 times in the last few years. It started with a mole on his back. In October of 2010 he found a lump under his arm, surgery removed it, and again in December of 2012 another lump was discovered under the same arm, surgery removed that also.

Robert, “the second surgery had me a little bit more concerned because all the lymph nodes on this side had already been removed. I don't have the safety net anymore so it would get into the blood stream a lot easier.”

Dr. Yount says treatments for melanoma are constantly changing and developing, “there's some new therapeutic agents that are more directly targeted to melanoma cells that can help.”

Terrye and Robert both admit that this diagnosis has touched an emotional cord. it's also changed their outdoor behavior.

Terrye, “I completely stay out of the sun now, we go to the beach all the time, we don't go out until after 5:00. If I work out in the yard I wear long sleeves and a hat.”

Dr's say the Hatch family is doing it right. changing their behavior in addition to sunscreen can make a big difference.

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